In 2002 the Lyric Performing Arts Company (a non-profit 510(c)3) purchased the building and began fundraising the needed $3.5 million for a complete restoration/renovation of the facility.
The Brownwood Lyric Theatre is a fully restored, historic performing arts theatre located in Downtown Brownwood at 318 Center Ave. The Lyric Performing Arts Company hosts dozens of theatrical productions each year, providing excellence in cultural entertainment while offering opportunities for local involvement in the arts.
The building itself is a brick, two and one-half story load-bearing masonry structure, roofed with wood and metal tension trusses. The structure was initially inspected by preservation engineer Patrick Sparks, a Brownwood native who practices in Austin, and found to be extremely sound. Fortunately, the roof has been very well maintained and has prevented the deterioration found in so many large buildings of this era. Restoration Specialist Gregory Free, also of Austin, has thoroughly documented the building and found many of the clues to its original interior configuration. It should be noted that the building's location on a street corner, along with its rear alley makes the meeting of egress and other building codes much easier than in-line structures. It is the opinion of these consultants that the building can meet all the requirements for codes, safety, and technical needs of a performing arts venue without compromising the historical integrity of the theatre.
Unlike many movie theatres from the 1920s and later, the Lyric was designed as a performance space, and already had a raked floor, a proscenium stage, and a complete fly loft. These elements are essential for use of the building as a multi-purpose complex. While there may be other vacant buildings around, no other building in Brownwood is better suited for it's new use. The Lyric's location in the center of historic downtown Brownwood also makes it a great addition to the new restaurants, shops, and galleries that are giving citizens and visitors a reason to walk those streets again. At night, there is parking aplenty all within a two-block radius.